T Genitalia: It’s Okay to Ask

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My husband at Camarillo air show, CA; keeping secrets with Chewbacca; me working another air show.
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Jenna Ware, MSW, LCSW, ATP/CFI

AN OBLIGATION TO SHARE
Jenner’s Warning (video)
RADICALS SET THE TONE
Galileo’s Middle Finger
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Jenner’s Euphemisms
PLEA FOR OPENNESS
Reporters and Us All

Transgender leaders are hiding information the public needs. Warning reporters not to ask for more, interviewers comply and unwittingly enable a T dysfunctional system.

I’m a very long-term transsexual, SRS in 1981, former forensic psychiatric social worker, widow of a conservative icon. I’m not guessing. I’ve been in this, behind the scenes and in the trenches with trans people for decades. Hiding these key things may prevent embarrassment today but can engender longer-term depression, suicidality, discrimination and hate crimes such as threats, assault, rape, and murder.

As I’ll show, for a trans leader, “Take me as I imply, and don’t ask about it” is dangerous—a “bad steer,” as we’d say in flying. Social integration is impeded with obfuscation and subterfuge. The sexuality of transgender living must not be treated as a source of shame.

I also need to say at the outset that I know Cait Jenner from Camarillo Airport, CA. Her airplane hangar is near mine. Cait: I love you, love your hugs, loved the dune buggy ride, good sense of humor… I sometimes comment on things you’ve said publicly, but I have to tell you you’re on a very wrong track, one that hurts trans people in general by hiding what phenomena are about—see below—a road-block to social understanding and a source of conflict between people.

To simplify, I’ll discuss these phenomena from the Male-to-Female direction.

AN OBLIGATION TO SHARET Phenomena on med blue field

Transgender leaders are hiding information the public needs. Promoting the largest phenomenon (B) under the umbrella (C) —changing gender but not sex—they’ll talk about gender identity, gender role change as paramount, but are usually unwilling to disclose in areas of sex identity, physical sex, and sexuality. These are the differences between transgenderism and transsexualism. Example: Caitlyn Jenner with Diane Sawyer. Cait implies SRS without saying so, plays down its importance in favor of a gender transition, uses euphemisms, and warns not to ask for specifics.

I don’t buy it. I don’t believe Cait’s had SRS. I don’t infer SRS from euphemistic implications—or response to other people who say things based on their inference—particularly when someone talks down SRS that way. Transsexuals who need SRS desperately are hurt by this kind of marginalization, minimization—transsexuals who need society, insurance companies, families, health care providers…to understand that for many of us being of the wrong physical sex is torture, intolerable pain (Chapter 4), that we must have SRS or die—and that’s before we even get into neurological issues of physical sexual response as a male or a female.

It’s hard to learn what Cait is doing. Even with my long experience, I can’t tell, and with a book entitled The Secrets of My Life, I should be able to. She says her book is about honesty. About some things, it may be, but on the issues of her sex identity, sexuality, sexual response as male or female, I believe it is evasive. People seem ready to believe that Cait is transsexual, but I don’t see where she says so, or where she says she had her penis removed, or that she now has a vagina. In her book, she never even mentions the word “transsexual.” She says she’s transgender with a “final surgery,” but I’ve been in this since the 1970s, and there is no such thing as a final surgery—only that someone may have what satisfies and stop, but that is varied. Sometimes it’s an orchiectomy (testicles removed and keeping penis), FFS, breast augmentation or other that is felt to confirm the social role of gender. Sometimes people will also falsely imply such surgeries as GRS, GCS, GAS, or even SRS, in subterfuge.

Almost all of the book buying base are transgenders-who-don’t-want-SRS (B). Virginia Prince, Ph.D. popularized that phenomenon as “transgenderist.” Though it literally means “one who is transgender,” it’s decried as offensive because it was popularized to mean changing gender but not sex, to keep the penis, to out the secret that Cait says to avoid. I don’t mean to offend, but it’s the most popular gender-shifted way of living by far, and it’s cumbersome to say “transgenders who don’t want SRS” or “change gender but not sex” all the time. I could say “transgender,” as they want, but they also say “transgender” for transsexuals—so then I can’t say what I’m talking about—which, again, is the obfuscated point. “Transgenderist” is simply descriptive. It’s not a cut, not diminutive, not a slur. Changing gender but not sex is a valid phenomenon with worthy people, but it’s a different phenomenon from transsexualism, and they play that down.

I can’t tell from Secrets if Cait is

  • a transgenderist who is giving the impression she’s transsexual when she’s not,
  • a transsexual who is acting like a transgenderist who is giving the impression she’s transsexual when she’s not,
  • a transgender-focused person who had some form of “bottom surgery” (such as an orchiectomy, removal of testes and keeping penis) but cares little about it in favor of the gender shift,
  • a transgender-focused person who had actual SRS for a secondary reason (other than the primary reason of just needing to be female) such as public belief of authenticity, perceived validity in role, avoidance of criticism, access to no-man’s lands such as bathrooms and locker rooms…or
  • something else, any of many.

I do know transgenders (B) treat as royalty people perceived as transsexual (A) who will say they’re transgender (C) because it helps transgenders (B) imply maybe they’re transsexual (A). Book sales, movie rights…are affected, I assume, by this popularity.

I shake my head in worry.

Non-disclosure of genitalia—usually such as retaining a penis—hurts transgenders (B) at large who depend on media info, people who are changing gender not sex, and—faced with parents, family, friends, co-workers, legislators—who need people representative of their phenomenon to point to and say, “That’s me. That’s what I am. See? You can be a woman with a penis, and it’s okay.” Hiding sexuality says there’s something wrong with it, and over time people get that message.

Journalists are aware of this kind of obfuscation and subterfuge and try to be accurate, fair, and thorough, try to be vigilant and courageous about holding those in the spotlight accountable, but when they approach sensitive areas of transgender sexuality, they’re rebuffed by angry public leaders who cry privacy and sometimes journalists back off, tacitly agree to collude.

I’m here to say that trans leaders—if they take the public stage, if they’re selling books, if they want media attention—have an obligation to describe these important social and physical aspects of both a gender and a sex change.

I’m also here to tell journalists it’s okay to ask—that journalists should ask. Please do.

It’s not hard to be clear. I’ll demonstrate:

  • Yes, I was born male, with penis and all. It hurt terribly since birth, since my first thoughts at age 3.
  • Medically required living as the other gender-but-not-sex prior to SRS in 1981 was the most painful period of my life and would have killed me, it was so impossible to be. See my memoir: Shadow Life: Aerospace, Love, and Secrets.
  • Yes I switched with SRS, completely from male to femaliform genitalia. I’ve also been updated since then as techniques improved. I also had FFS in 2005.
  • Yes, since SRS I do not have any penis or testes. Now my genitalia is female in form and function, neo clitoris, labia, vagina.
  • My sexuality is female.
  • I am transsexual. My need is to be biologically female, but that is impossible, so I survive legally, socially, anatomically/genitally. When science learns to change chromosomes, I’ll get that done, too.

And now I’ll demonstrate asking Cait:

  • Did you have SRS, male genitalia removed and redesigned into the form and function of female genitalia? (I use “SRS” because it is specific; “GRS,” etc., are euphemistic implications popular with transgenders, refer to gender, which is not sex, and could be anything.)
  • If so, when did you have it?
  • Do you still have a penis?
  • Do you still have any testes?
  • Do you have a vagina?
  • Exactly what was the surgery you referred to in your book as “final surgery”?
  • You assert you’re a woman, but is your sexuality male or female?
  • Are you transsexual, and if you believe so, how do you define that? Specifically?

RADICALS SET THE TONE

The purpose of the transgender paradigm is to promote acceptance by making the focus on gender role change, not on sex change.

The tactic of the paradigm is to mention transsexualism just often enough to suggest it may be present, but not to allow euphemisms or oblique statements to be probed, so that millions of transgenders who don’t have SRS won’t be embarrassed.

So the message to the public is set by emotional insecurity and short-term focus, demands it be accepted as implied or it will slam you (see Galileo’s Middle Finger, 2015). Specifically, the issue of genitalia? Don’t ask, they say, sometimes with a threat. Accept talk about gender, gender identity, and don’t think about sex identity, sexual response. Autogynephilia? Never mention it. Once clear Sex Reassignment Surgery morphed into gender reassignment/confirmation/affirmation surgeries that can be anything a person feels relates to gender, so a person can say one thing, deniably imply something else, and hope for an inference that will leave someone with a false impression. If they get it wrong, get angry. How dare they.

Even supportive people have difficulty struggling through a web of deception to find the truth of what they’re accepting.

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

The majority of trans people change gender but not sex. Consider these concerns in the broad.

  • What are you saying about yourself when you agree to play yourself down, to hide your sexuality, to fudge romantic relationships, perhaps even to avoid them, to state even to yourself that you are something that should not be mentioned?
  • Being open about being “transgender” isn’t admitting your same-sex sex identity, your sexuality. That is still hiding key elements.
  • Finding love is hard enough for most everyone. For a trans person, it’s harder. Why in God’s name make it even harder for yourself by looking for love while hiding your sexuality, that, yes, you do intend to use during sex? If it’s male, it’s male. Saying you’re a woman doesn’t change that.
  • How can people who are interested in you find you if you hide what you are? How does anyone know to ask you out—or if you ask them out, what prevents this from increasing the likelihood of rejection?
  • How can you expect them to keep it a secret after they know? Gossip hurts, and it’s usually to others, not to you.
  • Do you intend to be celibate or date only other trans people?
  • Sometimes it’s not true that your genitalia is a secret. That is denial at work, an unhealthy level of shutting out part of your life that doesn’t prevent embarrassment but sets you up for humiliation later in life when you realize people already knew and you’ve acted as if it were other…
  • It painful to wake up years later in life and realize you’ve hidden yourself because other people said you’re not okay, and that those years cannot be regained.
  • If you won’t talk about having a penis, people won’t get used to the idea, society won’t accept you with it, and you won’t show it—so you limit your own social opportunities where disrobing may be involved, such as military service, police, fire department, etc.
  • Surprise violence can occur if someone is in a romantic situation with you and only then finds out—beginning to have sex, and a guy only then finds out you have a penis. Things like this can lead to severe violence, rape, murder.

Hate crimes will continue to occur until people begin to see variant people as valued and equal, and that’s not going to occur by playing it down, saying “…that’s an inappropriate question,” and the list of murders is long.

PLEA FOR OPENNESS

Reporters and all of us: Transition must not be some fantasy of accept me as say I am but don’t ask me what I really am. Obfuscation and subterfuge have no place in finding acceptance for who or what we really are.

For people who go on TV, sell books or movie rights: I hope people will see the importance of admitting sexuality. All these issues revolve around sex identity, genitalia, having sex, and how you respond to sex (as male or female). Researchers need it to dig and find truths and should not be intimidated by radical dogma or threats. Legislators need the truth when considering laws. Families and friends need it to help them understand what they’re suspecting.

And for reporters: Ask about genitalia, what different surgeries are, sex identity, sexuality overall, sexual response nature as a male or female…all of it. People who are in the public spotlight by their own will? ASK THEM. People making major changes in their life depend on them. Please don’t give in to misinformation that’s so readily given. Help us trans people dig our way out of this denial that grips the modern movement, and help society learn we’re actually good and valuable people as we truly are.

Diane Sawyer, all: Please help.